My Wife and Kids is an American sitcom that ran on ABC from March 28, 2001, until May 17, 2005, starring Damon Wayans and Tisha Campbell-Martin, produced by Touchstone Television. It was created by Wayans and Don Reo.
It features the character of Michael Kyle, a loving husband and modern-day patriarch who rules his household with a unique and distinct parenting style. As he teaches his three children some of life's lessons, he does so with his own brand of humor.
The series is premised on a self-made merchant, Michael Richard Kyle (Damon Wayans), who owns a trucking company and brings up his family in the suburbs of Stamford, Connecticut. He is married to Janet Kyle, typically referred to as "Jay" (Tisha Campbell-Martin), who had been a housewife but joined the workforce in the pilot (but decided to become a homemaker once again after she was fired from her job in the season two episode "Jay Gets Fired"). Michael and Jay have three children: Michael Kyle, Jr., usually called simply "Junior" (George O. Gore II), their underachieving and not-very-bright son and oldest child who Michael and Jay had when they both were 17-years-old; Claire (Jazz Raycole, later Jennifer Freeman), their oldest daughter and middle child who is a typical teenager that is often self-absorbed; and precious youngest child Kady (Parker McKenna Posey).
As the series went on, the series began to see a noticeable change in tone, particularly with the characters: by the fourth and (especially) the fifth seasons, Michael became involved in increasingly outlandish situations having often seeking advice from Franklin Mumford, the child prodigy boyfriend of his youngest daughter Kady; Junior went from being a mere underachiever to being depicted as a total idiot (though with some savant-like characteristics, as he showed some extremely rare glimpses of intelligence, as well as a talent for drawing), and Claire was depicted as being self-absorbed and klutzy.
Jazz Raycole, who was the original portrayer of Claire, had departed the series after season one. It was publicly reported that she was pulled from the series by her mother over concerns about the second season opening storyline in which Raycole (as Claire) finds her friend Charmaine (portrayed by Raven-Symoné) has become pregnant. Replacement actress Jennifer Freeman was then cast in the same role with the same storyline. Given that Freeman bears no resemblance to the first actress, the second season premiere ("Mom's Away") obliquely refers to the change: upon Claire's entrance down the stairs of the set, Michael notices a difference about his daughter and declares, "Whatever it is, you look like a whole new person."
During the third season, piano prodigy Noah Gray-Cabey joins the cast as young Kady's playmate Franklin, who is something of a child genius. Despite being a playmate, Franklin and Kady are openly "boyfriend and girlfriend".
In season three, Meagan Good was introduced as Junior's new girlfriend Vanessa Scott. In the first episode of season four, for unknown reasons, Good was replaced with Brooklyn Sudano, daughter of popular 1970s singer Donna Summer. Unlike the change in Claire's role, no on-screen reference was made regarding this change. The pair consummates their relationship during this season, resulting in Vanessa becoming pregnant at season's end and setting up the series for related storylines through the remainder of the show. They become parents in the fourth season finale.
Introduced in the middle of the second season, Claire begins a relationship with the religious-minded Tony, portrayed by young actor Andrew McFarlane. The relationship continues through series end. In the episode "Breaking Up and Breaking It," (Season 1) McFarlane first appears as Roger, Claire's first crush.
In May 2005, ABC decided to end the show, citing declining ratings. ABC officials, according to the Futon Critic and tv.com felt the show played itself out. Wayans was also on record stating that ABC had ensured him a spot in the 2005–2006 television season hence the cliffhanger. The series did not get a proper finale, leaving the show with a cliffhanger. The series concluded when Jay reveals that she is pregnant, this after she asks Michael to get a vasectomy, when they do not plan to have additional children, though Michael refuses to.
After reading an article in the newspaper about a 67-year-old giving birth to a baby Jay thinks that Michael should get a vasectomy so they have nothing to worry about. When Michael is at the hospital he doesn't go through with the surgery as a doctor with a sugar rushing hand named Dr. Shakey and a man like nurse named Tiffany. When he tells Jay he didn't have the surgery, Jay says she'll get her tubes tied. The next day when Jay is at the hospital, she says these words, "It doesn't matter anymore, Michael. Because I'm pregnant.". Meanwhile Tony has a dream about bible camp and tells Claire to build him a hat to be God's favorite. At bible camp, Tony sings a song about everyone else not being God's favorite until lighting strikes at Tony which destroys the hat. The series ends after Jay tells Michael the bad news.
- Main article: List of My Wife and Kids episodes
One interesting note about the series is that, unusual for a sitcom of the show's length, at no point during My Wife and Kids' five-season run did the series have an episode centering on a major holiday (e.g., Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.).
|Season||TV Season||Ratings Rank|| Viewers|
- Michael Richard Kyle, Sr. (Damon Wayans) – Michael is a father of three children and has been married to Janet "Jay" Kyle since age 17, as a result of having gotten her pregnant with their first child Michael Kyle, Jr. Michael owns an eponymous trucking business, he built from the ground up. He often exhibits a very interesting sense of humor, and occasionally does impressions of famous people such as Bill Cosby and Don King. He commonly teaches his kids valuable lessons, using the method of what he refers to as "Michael Kyle Signature Moments", which often involve trickery (e.g., taking the family car in order to make Claire think that it was stolen after he catches Claire driving it without permission, having him and Jay make Junior think he is hallucinating after they discover he had smoked marijuana, etc.) in order to teach his kids a lesson; Kady is the only one of Michael's children to have never been taught a lesson in this manner. He also shows some impatience with not getting to a particular place on time, as seen in the season two episode "Get Out". A running gag in the third and fourth seasons involved Michael saying "Ah, nah" in a nasal voice as a catchphrase, sometimes used by other characters, with different variations of this phrase used. Many jokes poking fun at Michael's lack of hair and baldness were also made during the show's run. As the series progressed, Michael became involved in increasingly outlandish situations, and often sought the advice of Kady's boyfriend Franklin Mumford when getting into a tight situation; also around this time Michael often took the suggestion by Jay that he cannot do something as a challenge, making a mess of the situation in the process.
- Janet Marie "Jay" Kyle (Tisha Campbell-Martin) – Janet, usually referred to by her nickname "Jay", is the matricarch of the Kyle family and mother of three children. Jay's role in the series is typically to be the voice of reason for the family, including Michael; for example, when Michael evicted Junior from the house in season three's "Jr.'s Risky Business" after catching him and his girlfriend Vanessa in Jay and Michael's bed after having sex, she is the one who tries to have Michael to rethink his decision. During the series, Jay's maiden name is contradicted as in the season two episode "Make Over", in which a frumpy-feeling Jay gets a new look, her maiden name is said to be Thomas (an earlier episode stated her maiden name as Johnson, by Michael). In the pilot, Jay gets a job at a stock broker firm, much to Michael's chagrin, a job which she is subsequently fired from in the season two episode "Jay Gets Fired". In the fourth and fifth seasons, a running gag featured Jay often uttering a devilish laugh when she has a plan or when she thinks something is funny. When the other Kyles witness her laughing at something that's really not funny, they sometimes gave her a "not funny" gesture to make her stop.
- Michael Richard Kyle, Jr. (George O. Gore II) – Junior is the only son and first child of Michael and Jay Kyle; initially, Junior was depicted as being simply an underachieving student and in the first season, his ascent into puberty was a recurring theme (ex., in season one's "Breaking Up and Breaking It", Junior locks himself in the bathroom repeatedly, bringing along some unusual reading material like Field & Stream (though not mentioned it is possible he was hiding pornographic magazines in them, though the hidden magazines are never shown). While in the bathroom, Junior suffers a muscle spasm to his "joystick" while masturbating, much to his embarrassment when he is told this by the doctor treating him, when he ends up in the hospital). One of his greatest ambitions in the early seasons was to lose his virginity, which after a few failed attempts, does occur in the season three premiere "The Kyles Go to Hawaii"; later on in "Jr.'s Risky Business" from the same season, he and his girlfriend Vanessa Scott make love for the first time—in Michael and Jay's bed—which gets Junior evicted from his bedroom and the Kyle house, though after some prodding by Jay to get him to change his mind, Michael allows Junior to live in the house again but he winds up living in a makeshift bedroom in the garage (Michael turned Junior's old room into a personal room for himself). Junior, himself served as a recurring gag as many of his physical, personal and mental traits are mined for comedy on the show. From season two onwards, the size of Junior's head becomes the subject of jokes by the family (ironically, Tisha Campbell-Martin's character Gina Waters was the subject of many "big-head" jokes on her previous sitcom Martin, perhaps suggesting Jr. inherited it from his mother). From season three onward, Junior is usually portrayed as an imbecile (in the season two episode "Junior Kyle, Boy Genius", in which his idiocy first becomes a major plot point, Junior loses points on his actual SAT exam, which was mistakenly switched with that of an unrelated higher-scoring classmate named Michelle Kyle, by misspelling his name as 'Junyor' instead of 'Junior'); other examples of Junior's less-than-intelligent moments include his mispronouncing words such as dumb, psychology and Hors d'œuvres as "dum-bee", "pizzi-chology" and "Horse de ovaries" respectively, his ability to misinterpret certain comments (such as Michael suggesting that he should name his baby after him once he is born, asking him "why would I name it 'Dad'?") and mistakenly thinking that salmonella is the name of a woman. Michael's impatience with Junior's lack of intelligence often got him slapped on the back of the head, though occasionally other family members did this to him as well. Despite this, he does display some savant-like characteristics, as he knew that the fact that humans have an opposable thumb separates the human species from animals, he was able to successfully build a jungle gym for Kady (though he accidentally got his head stuck between the bars after it was completed) and Junior has a talent for drawing, which catches the interest of ABC to develop an animated series that itself is a parody of the series (though Michael's negotiation tactics with ABC executives backfire, but it ends up getting a life as series of webisodes). In the season three episode "Graduation", Junior reveals to Michael and Jay that he and his girlfriend Vanessa were going to become teenage parents, much like what occurred with Michael and Jay when they were 17-years-old; their child, a boy named Michael Richard Kyle III (or Junior, Jr.) was born in the season four episode "The Baby".
- Claire Marie Kyle (Jazz Raycole in season 1; Jennifer Freeman afterward) – Claire is eldest daughter and middle child of Michael and Janet Kyle. In the first season, Claire went through the typical growing pains of a pre-teen, such as having her first crush, wanting her first bra and feeling embarrassed or irritated by her parents. After Jennifer Freeman took over the role in the series' second season, Claire was rapidly aged from 12 to 14 and her personality noticeably changed, eventually behaving in a superficial and vain way, while she is never vicious or intentionally mean, she became depicted rather as an innocent and naive young woman. In the season two episode "Letting Go", Claire begins dating Tony Jeffers, whom with the exception of a short-lived breakup in the season three episode "Claire's New Boyfriend", after Michael says that he approves of Tony leading Claire to briefly date a boy nicknamed "1040-EZ", she remains with Tony for the rest of the series. Starting with the season three episode "A Samba Story", a running gag involving Claire involved her running into things, falling down stairs or generally being ditsy. In season three's "Here Comes Da Judge", Claire becomes, at the inducing of Tony, to become a vegetarian, although this is not referenced in future episodes. Claire's middle name was revealed to be Marie (after her mother) in the episode "He Said, She Said."
- Kady Melissa Jay Spilken Kyle (Parker McKenna Posey) – The youngest daughter and youngest child overall of the Kyle children, Kady is the precocious one out of the kids, and is commonly referred to as "the cute one". In season one's "Making the Grade", Kady is shown to be able to speak multiple languages as the then 5-year-old sings Itsy Bitsy Spider in Spanish and Swahili as well as English. At times, Kady aspired to be like Claire, doing all sorts of things like wanting to spend time with her at the mall. Although Kady is very cute and portrayed as nice and polite, she can also be quite cunning and mischievous (e.g., spitting in Junior's drink when he is being rude to him or letting Claire be falsely accused of stealing nail polish from a department store when in fact, Kady was the one who took it. In season three, Kady tries to hang on to her status as the baby of the family by acting younger than her age, which Michael and Jay explain to her in the episode "Blackout", that it is actually more irritating than cute. That same season, she begins "dating" child prodigy Franklin Mumford.
- Franklin Aloyisious Mumford (Noah Gray-Cabey; seasons 4–5; recurring, season 3) – Franklin is Kady's playmate and "boyfriend" first introduced in season three's "Jay the Artist". Franklin is a child prodigy, who is very skilled at playing the piano, which usually amazes first-time listeners, and is generally very intelligent, so much so that he had accomplished attending and graduating from Harvard University before the age of 7. Franklin has very strong feelings for Kady and sees her as his everything. He loves Kady with all of his heart and often says poetic comments to Kady, which often led Jay to slap Michael across the shoulder asking him "Why can't you be more like Franklin". Running gags involving Franklin include him uttering "Anyhoo" or "However" in a drawn-out tone when trying to change the subject or when he sees that he is talking with someone less-than-intelligent, which has also been used by the other Kyle family members, usually Michael, on occasion. When he tells a joke but no one laughs, he says it's funnier in Latin. Franklin has a younger sister named Aretha (Jamia Simone Nash), who herself is an impressive singer for someone her age; Frankin however does not think Aretha is a good singer however, thinking Kady is a better singer, which Michael tells him in season three's "Sharon's Picture" is because he is in love with Kady and Aretha is just his sister. It is mentioned that, unusual for someone Franklin's age, he is a certified contractor and was able to coach Michael and Junior how to deliver Junior's fiancee Vanessa's baby due to his medical knowledge. However, Franklin did find it hard to fit in with other children his age and even seeks advice from Michael, who is usually the one who seeks advice from Franklin whenever Michael gets himself in a tight situation, on how to act more like a normal kid in the season four episode "Junior Sells His Car".
- Vanessa Scott-Kyle (Meagan Good; recurring, season 3; Brooklyn Sudano; seasons 4-5) – Vanessa is Junior's girlfriend, who was first introduced in the season three episode "Jr.'s Risky Business", and whom Junior sees as "the greatest girl in the world", though a disapproving Jay believed Vanessa had an agenda with Junior. At the end of the first part of the two-part episode, Junior and Vanessa decide to make love for the first time, a decision which gets Junior evicted from the house by Michael after he and Jay, who were coming home from watching an opera performance, catch the teen couple in their bed. Vanessa explains to Jay that she is truly in love with Junior. Later in the third season finale "Graduation", she and Junior break the news to Michael and Jay that Vanessa is pregnant, and that they are going to become teenage parents, like Michael and Jay did when they were 17; their child, a boy named Michael Richard Kyle III (or Junior, Jr.) was born in the season four episode "The Baby". In the season five episode "The Wedding", she became Junior's wife.
- Tony Jeffers (Andrew McFarlane; seasons 2–5) – Tony is Claire's boyfriend for the majority of the show's run. In his initial appearance in season two's "Letting Go", he was depicted as not being very bright, though his subsequent appearances depict him as a nice, Christian teenager, though Michael often thought that Tony had an agenda that he is really using this as a ruse to try to trick Claire into having sex with him; Tony's actual demeanor and what Michael thought Tony was really like had Michael refer to him in the season two episode "Papa Said Knock You Out" as a "religious Eddie Haskell"; although Tony and Claire announce to Michael and Jay that they were thinking about having sex in the season three episode "The Big Bang Theory" (which does not happen as Tony saw that a Bible that was in a drawer in the hotel room they were going to lose their virginity in was a sign from God, not knowing that all hotels have a copy of the Bible), Michael's beliefs about Tony were never the case. Tony often sought ways to prove his devotion to purity and to God using extreme measures, such as fasting for eight days and wearing a handmade religious hat to get the approval of God (which backfires). Whenever Claire is breaking up with him or he falsely thinks she has broken up with him, he often wails. In season three's "Here Come Da Judge", it is revealed that his real first name is Honest and Tony is his middle name. Incidentally, Tony's portrayer Andrew McFarlane played another crush of Claire's, a boy named Roger, in the season one episode "Breaking Up and Breaking It".
Recurring and minor charactersEdit
- Katt Williams – Bobby Shaw, a former classmate and rival of Michael and also Jay's first kiss (season 5)
- Damon Wayans Jr. – John, a silly friend of Junior's (seasons 2-4)
- Lester "Rasta" Speight – Calvin Scott, Vanessa's sensitive dimwitted father (seasons 4-5)
- Ella Joyce – Jasmine Scott, Vanessa's spunky mother (seasons 4-5)
- Sean Whalen – Larry, nerdy employee of Michael (season 4)
- Lauren Tom – Annie Hoo, owner of a local Chinese restaurant who goes into competition with Jay (season 5)
- Liliana Mumy – Rachel, one of Kady's classmates who hates Michael (seasons 3-4)
- DeRay Davis – R.J., an employee at Michael's trucking business (seasons 2-4)
- Keenan Ivory Wayans – Ken Kyle, Michael's successful brother
- Jamia Simone Nash – Aretha Mumford, Franklin's younger sister
- Larry Miller – Stuart Tyler, one of Michael's nemesis for several episodes in season two
- Marlene Forte – Rosa Lopez, the Kyles' Nanny/Housekeeper for several episodes in season one
- Shaquille O'Neal - Himself
The Wayans influenceEdit
Many members of the Wayans family have worked in front of the camera or behind the scenes on My Wife and Kids. In some cases, careers were accelerated. For instance, Damien Dante Wayans was a supervising producer in season three, a producer or co-producer in season four, and an executive story editor in season four and in season five.
Behind the cameraEdit
Midway through season two, Kim Wayans, who had acting experience starring in In Living Color and In the House became a regular writer for the series after writing a few season-two episodes. She became executive story editor in season three, producer in season four and supervising producer in season five. Kim never made an on-camera appearance on the show.
Damien Dante Wayans wrote and directed several episodes of the series from seasons three through five. Damon's look-alike son, Damon Wayans, Jr., wrote a season four episode and became a regular writer in the fifth season. Elvira Wayans also wrote a couple of episodes in the fifth season. Damon's cousin Craig Wayans began as a writer and executive story editor on the show in the second season, and then became supervising producer without skipping a position.
In front of the cameraEdit
Keenen Ivory Wayans appears once as Michael's brother Ken in season one's "A Little Romance".
Damon's own kids, Kyla, Cara Mia, Michael and Damon Jr. appeared in episodes during the first four seasons. Jojo and Damon Jr. played Junior's friends Mike and John, respectively while Cara Mia played Claire's friend Bre in "Of Breasts and Basketball". Cara Mia's character was renamed Shante in her season three appearances.
Reruns air in the U.S. on various local stations. ABC Family began airing My Wife and Kids in high definition on September 1, 2008; the episodes aired by ABC Family are the original versions aired on ABC, though like syndication airings, closed captioning sponsorship tags appear before the final act/scene of each episode. The series also began showing on Nick at Nite on August 30, 2010; though the blooper reels at the end of nearly every episode of the first three seasons and a small few from season four are omitted, replaced with marginalized credits. In the United Kingdom, reruns of the series air on Living and Channel One.
|Template:Flag||My Wife and Kids on FOX8 and Seven Network|
|Template:Flag||My Wife and Kids on VT4|
|Template:Flag||"Eu, a Patroa e as Crianças" (on SBT)|
|Template:Flag||Moja žena i djeca|
|Template:Flag||"Minu naine ja lapsed" (My Wife And Kids) (on Fox Life)|
|Template:Flag||Meidän faija (Our Dad) on TV Viisi|
|Template:Flag||Ma Famille d'Abord on M6|
|Template:Flag||What’s Up, Dad? on Kabel 1|
|Template:Flag||My Wife and Kids (on Star World)|
|Template:Flag||Tutto in famiglia|
|Template:Flag||My Wife and Kids, on Sony Entertainment Television|
|Template:Flag||"On, ona i dzieciaki" (Comedy Central Polska)|
|Template:Flag||"Patriarca com Estilo"|
|Template:Flag||Моя жена и дети on Fox Life Russia|
|Template:Flag||My Wife and Kids on SABC 1 MZANSI 4 SHO|
|Template:Flag||Mimi, Watoto na mke Wangu|
|Template:Flag||My Wife and Kids on ChannelOne, and LivingTV|
|Template:Flag||Mi esposa y hijos|
|Template:Flag||My Wife and Kids, ZBC TV|
|Template:Flag||My Wife and Kids, TV2 (TVNZ 2)|
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|Season 1||11||February 24, 2009|
|Season 2||28||May 11, 2010|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|Top TV Series||(Won)|
|BET Comedy Award:|
|Outstanding Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Damon Wayans)||(Won)|
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Tisha Campbell-Martin)||(Won)|
|Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (George O. Gore II)||Nominated|
|Family Television Award:|
|Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series (Damon Wayans)||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (Tisha Campbell-Martin)||(Won)|
|Outstanding Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (George O. Gore II)||Nominated|
|Most Popular Overseas Comedy||Nominated|
|People's Choice Award:|
|Favorite Male Performer in a New Television Series (Damon Wayans)||(Won)|
|Favorite Television New Comedy Series||(Won)|
|TV Comedy Series Episode||(Won)|
|Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical (Damon Wayans)||Nominated|
|Best Performance by an Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical (Damon Wayans)||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Award:|
|Choice TV Actress – Comedy (Jennifer Freeman)||Nominated|
|TV – Choice Comedy||Nominated|
|Young Artist Award:|
|Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Young Actor Age Ten or Younger (Noah Gray-Cabey)||(Won)|
|Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Young Actress Age Ten or Younger (Jazz Raycole)||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a TV Comedy or Drama Series – Guest Starring Young Actress Age Ten or Under (Jessica Sara)||(Won)|
|Best Ensemble in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama)||Nominated|
|Best Family Television Series (Comedy or Drama)||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series – Guest Starring Young Actress (Marina Malota)||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a TV Comedy or Drama Series – Guest Starring Young Actress Age Ten or Under (Liliana Mumy)||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Young Actress Age Ten or Under (Parker McKenna Posey)||Nominated|
My Wife And Kids Currently airs on Nick At Night at 8:00 pm and 8:30 pm. it also airs on MY9 in New York and New Jersey.
- ↑ Jazz Raycole gets out from My Wife and Kids
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Template:Cite web
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Template:Cite web
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Template:Cite web
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Template:Cite web Retrieved on 2010-01-09.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Template:Cite web Retrieved on 2010-01-09.
- ↑ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Wife-Kids-Season-1-Box-Art/10992
- ↑ http://tvshowsondvd.com/news/Wife-Kids-Season-2/13346
- ↑ Template:Cite web